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Joanne Manaster

Joanne Manaster is a laboratory instructor at the University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana. Once an international model, she now spends her days teaching lab courses and getting students excited about science. Her video blogs and posts will cover a range of topics from book reviews to the science behind exploding gummi bears!

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Views: 822 | Comments: 0

Joanne shares information about the University of Illinois' outreach, BugScope and tells of a yearly event featuring insects called The Insect Fear Film Festival. Awesome! Also, three Featured Books by Sonia Dourlot (Insect Museum), Hugh Raffles (Insectopedia) and May Berenbaum (The Earwig's Tale) All three books have chapters listed in alphabetical order, but not in the way you would imagine . . . More
Views: 477 | Comments: 1
Last by Thomas Joseph on Sep 29, 2010, 10:11am

Mary Roach's new book, Packing for Mars, is just as entertaining and quirky as her other three books. Also included are two bonus books, How to Build Your Own Spaceship by Piers Brozny and It's Only Rocket Science! by Dr. Lucy Rogers. . . . More
Views: 791 | Comments: 2
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Jul 21, 2010, 5:28am

If you believe the movies, you are probably under the impression that science is able to make your clone and this clone will lead to your undoing! Luckily, we are quite some ways away from this, but in that eventuality, you can be prepared by reading Kyle Kurpinsky and Terry D. Johnson's book "How To Defeat Your Own Clone". . . . More
Views: 384 | Comments: 0
Joanne reads to you from a non-fiction book by sci-fi writer Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) and then introduces you to a new book about endangered species by TV naturalist Jeff Corwin. Be sure to check out his book if your passion is helping to save endangered species and visit his website Corwin Connect

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Views: 885 | Comments: 1
Last by John F on Oct 11, 2010, 2:56pm

Can cookies describe what a doctor is looking for in a CBC? (complete blood cell count) With the capable artistic hands of Ms. Humble from Not So Humble Pie ( ) and the scientific knowledge of Joanne ( ), they can! Learn about the formed elements of blood: red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (lymphocytes, monocytes, basophils, eosinophils, neutrophils) and platelets in a series of videos that begins here! . . . More
Views: 305 | Comments: 0
Joanne recommends Pulitzer Prize winning writer Deborah Blum's latest book about Murder and the Birth of Forensics in Jazz Age New York. Details of the chemistry of poisons in use at that time in America and the way the body reacts to doses of these poisons. Fascinating history of the first coroner and toxicologist in the country. A fascinating read!

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Views: 434 | Comments: 1
Last by ashek on Jul 26, 2010, 3:33pm
Joanne recommends several new and nearly new books out there for children. Included is Why is Snot Green? and How Loud Can You Burp? by Glenn Murphy, Felicity Frobisher by Marcus Chown, Little Moon by Stuart Clark, Ocean Life From A to Z by Annie Crawley, Engineering the ABCs by Patty O'Brien Novak, Evolution: How We and All Things Came to Be by Daniel Loxton and Katie of the Sonoran by Kate Jackson

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Views: 266 | Comments: 2
Last by JanedeLartigue on Oct 17, 2010, 5:05pm
The people who brought us "Kitten Wars" also have a side project called "Cats in Sinks". As curious as ever, Joanne wonders how many cats can fit in her large lab sink and how one might figure this out without allowing a melee amongst confused cats breaking out and disrupting the lab! Science can be done both experimentally and theoretically, and this is discussed in this video, as is the use of models in science. The video features not only Joanne but a very fluffy cat named Graucho and a couple of "random" smart kids.

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Views: 167 | Comments: 0
Joanne reminisces a bit about some TV shows she watched as a child. A wonderful memory is of the antics of Jacques Cousteau and the crew of the Calypso. This biography is an engaging look at the life of the man who brought marine exploration to life for the general public. A charismatic king of public science engagement!

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Views: 136 | Comments: 0
Graham Farmelo has written a marvelous account of the life of Paul Dirac. In fact, it has been considered one of the top 100 books of 2009 by several major publications including The New York Times. Very lovely read, and when I am ready for a biography to be written (one can dream) I will contact Graham and see if he's available, so wonderful is his writing style!

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Views: 165 | Comments: 0
Joanne is in her culture room talking about immortal cell lines including the most famous one of all, HeLa cells. Rebecca Skloot has written a marvelous account of the discovery of the cells and the woman and family behind the donor! This important work is available for purchase February 2, 2010!

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Views: 2756 | Comments: 0
Joanne describes the components of nail polish and sets a few things on fire! We'll also look at the evaporative properties of the solvent in the nail polish.

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Views: 167 | Comments: 0
My "Ignite Talk" presentation, re-presented for you as the lighting and stage set up did not allow for a good quality video at the Science Online 2010 banquet. All the information is there, as is my fabulous dress, only thing missing is the audience!

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Views: 588 | Comments: 0
Joanne reviews The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes. Joanne's Top Model doll is wearing a dress representing something a woman would wear in the mid 1840s.

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